Rainbow shot glasses

How to make Rainbow Shots out of one Cocktail Shaker

By Timo Torner / Last updated on September 16, 2022 

First published on October 16, 2021 

Seeing a bartender pouring Rainbow Shots is fascinating to watch. And if you know how, you can easily make it at home. All you need is a little practice and this guide on how to make the perfect Rainbow Shots.

Pouring Rainbow shots is one of the fanciest party tricks. If you can fill several shot glasses with different colored liquids out of one shaker, people won't believe their eyes. 

And yes, at first, it seems unbelievable to use one cocktail shaker and fill up multiple shot glasses of various colors. But it is possible; no witchcraft or magic required!

All you need is a basic understanding of physics and how to make use of it.

How do Rainbow Shots work?

Even though pouring Rainbow shots out of one cocktail shaker is doable, it still is tricky. So don't be discouraged if it does not work out the first time. To perfectly nail this party trick, it will take some practice. 

Yet, once you managed to pour some perfect Rainbow Shots, you know it was worth it. So how to do it?

The trick is to use liquids with different densities. That enables you to layer them inside your cocktail shaker. Similar to adding a float to a New York Sour, where the red wine sits on top of the Whiskey Sour cocktail

Once you pour the shots, the liquids blend and form a transition of colors. If done right, the result is a perfect rainbow-colored line of glasses.

How do Rainbow Shots taste

You can use different ingredients to make rainbow shots. Many liquids will produce similar results, visually but also taste-wise. 

And by that, I mean neither will be very tasty at all. Ultimately, it's more about the magic trick than pouring an enjoyable drink.

For instance, usually, the red ones taste like pure Grenadine -Honestly, nothing I would recommend serving on its own.

The fact that each layer is another liquid also means that not all the shots are equally alcoholic. So the baseline is: If you want shooters worth drinking, Rainbow Shots are not it.

What do you need for Rainbow Shots?

To perform this colourful trick, you need the right ingredients, bar tools, and equal sizes shot glasses:

The Ingredients

As I said, you can make those colorful shots with many different ingredients. But since you will need some practice, I advise using a setup that demands a small number of affordable elements. 

My recommendation is to start making your rainbow shots with:

  • 6oz Pineapple juice
  • 0.5 oz Grenadine
  • 1oz Vodka
  • 0.75 oz Blue Curaçao
  • Plenty of crushed ice

Tools

To be able to layer the liquids and pour the shots, you will need some basic bartending equipment and glasses. Here's the list of the tools needed for Rainbow Shots:

How to make Rainbow Shots

So here we are. We have all ingredients and tools and are ready to make Rainbow shots. -Below the explanation is also a video to help clarify the procedure. However, it makes sense that you read the instructions first. 

Please also remember that, unlike in the clip, you do the layering in a metal shaker and not glass. That way, nobody can see that the ingredients inside are layered, allowing the colors to blend the way they do.

Step 1 - Bottom layer of Grenadine

Just like with a Tequila Sunrise, we add a layer of Grenadine first. For this, measure about 0.5 oz of Grenadine and pour it into your cocktail shaker.

After that, add crushed ice to the glass until it's filled by 3/4.

Step 2 - Adding Pineapple juice

For the next layer, we need Pineapple juice. Measure the 6 oz before pouring it gently via your bar spoon into the glass over the ice. We don't want the layers to blend at this stage, so you need to be careful.

Step 3 - Adding the Vodka

Measure 1 oz of Vodka and pour it into the glass. Use your spoon, just like you did with the pineapple juice. Pour slowly to prevent mixing with other liquids.

Step 4 - Top layer of Blue Curacao

That is one of the trickiest parts of the whole process. You have to float Blue Curacao on top of the other liquids. But as it is heavier than the ones below, it will start to mix with the other liquids as soon as you pour it in. 

That is why the moment you finished filling Blue Curacao into the shaker, you should be ready to grab your strainer and pour the rainbow shots.

A spoon will help float the 0.75 oz Blue Curacao on top. Slowly add Blue Curacao to the spoon tip only and let it drip in. The front of the spoon should touch the inside of the glass while doing this. 

Important note: Remember the spot where it does because you will need to know for the next step.

Step 5 - Pouring those Rainbow Shots

Make sure the shot glasses are perfectly aligned before you start pouring. And once you have added Blue Curacao to your shaker, remove the spoon and grab your strainer. Then start filling up the glasses straight away.

And now you need to know where the spoon and shaker touched in the step prior to this. Because ideally, you pour the liquid from the side where you floated Blue Curacao. That way, the blending of layers will work best.

Try to pour even-sized amounts into the glasses. If your pouring speed is consistent, you can produce equally sized shots by counting to four.

Naturally, your first try won't be perfect. The layering can be wrong, or the timing when pouring the shots could be off. 

But after trying this magical move a few times, you eventually will get it right. I promise. And once you know how it works, you can pull this off at any party. Cheers!

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2 comments on “How to make Rainbow Shots out of one Cocktail Shaker”

    1. Hi Naveendhar,
      check out our "Cocktails" section in the main menu. You'll find plenty of cocktail recipes with instructions there.
      Cheers

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